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Hardball With Chris Matthews

News/Business. (2012) (CC)




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America 13, Florida 8, Romney 6, Indiana 5, Washington 5, Maher 4, Michele Bachmann 4, Sandy 4, Obama 4, Mcconnell 4, U.s. 4, Joe Donnelly 4, Laura Ingraham 3, Joe Walsh 3, Bill Maher 3, Boehner 3, Nbc News 2, Allen 2, Richard Mourdock 2, Lugar 2,
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  MSNBC    Hardball With Chris Matthews    News/Business.  (2012)  (CC)  

    November 7, 2012
    11:00 - 12:00am PST  

>> thank you for joining us tonight. the day after. let's play "hardball." ♪ i'm chris matthews. good evening, i'm in new york again. let me start with this. a sixth round knockout came so early in the fight. just after we began to get those state by state results. some that hit me. obama, the champ, was not just hold his own, he was winning. then the long rounds where he kept it up. i saw this happen last night because i never saw it coming. i saw romney's big win in the first debate. i saw the president's sterling bipartisan work on tropical storm sandy. i never saw what came about last
night, this powerful swing of support to the president. not just him but his party in senate races across the country. our question tonight, what happened? but i can't begin our usual political discussion tonight without a strong sad personal note. i was on last night for ten hours straight from 5:00 in the evening till 3:00 in the morning. a few minutes to 3:00 i said something terrible. i said that i was glad about the coming of tropical storm sandy because of its impact on this national campaign. it was a terrible thing to say, period. i can say it was because i was tired but the fact is i wasn't thinking of the horrible mess this storm has made of people's lives up here in new york and elsewhere. it's not until you read the local newspapers that you know the horror this has reeked on people's lives. very good people's lives. i grew up in the south jersey shore. i have relatives living there still. i failed to see the damage down in new jersey, staten island and
other places around here. it is truly a horror up here. no, i was too deeply enmeshes in political, number and people and stakes and all focused on who would win and who would lose. i left out the number one job of anyone on air, on television or on the radio, to think about the lives, the real lives of people. their losses, their relatives and friends who decide in this disaster. their dreams that have been hurt and sometimes destroyed. i said something not just stupid but wrong. what i should have said is how impressive it is for people in trouble how they react to see politician working across party lines and how people like to see that. instead i suggested an ends justifies means. something identify never believed in my life. bad is bad. good is good. there is no confusing the two. i said something bad about something bad instead of saying something good which is good. people working together.
look, i intended to take serious steps to show i'm sincere on this. i've heard from numbers of my family, members of my own family who live near the areas hit. they don't like what i said any more than other people like it. please believe me, i'm determined to do what i can to try to help the people that have already been hurt enough, suffered, suffering enough hardship without hearing stupid stuff from me. i'm joined -- i'll talk about this perhaps later tonight and in the shows ahead. i'm joined by real experts who have done nothing wrong. political director, chuck todd, who's amazing, and "new york" magazine john heilemann. let's talk about this situation here. let's take a look at some of the facts. here's where we stand now. president obama wins by at least 303 electoral votes. romney got 206. nbc news hasn't called florida yet, even notice, a night later, which has 29 electoral votes. right now the president leads 50% to 49% down there. the popular vote across the country, obama leads by 2.8
million votes, 50% to 48%. chuck, this is something, i know you -- i don't know if you're billy bean or into the money ball stuff going on now, but i have nothing but absolute -- what is the word, praise for people like nate silver but more importantly the guys in plouffe and axelrod and messina. they seemed to have the numbers right and we were all the doubters. >> they had this secret government study that was available to the public called the census and they seemed to understand it a lot better than the folks in the other political party, on the republican side. when you look at what they did. you know, they knew this wasn't going to be easy. they knew there was going to be a fired up republican vote. they knew they were going to have some issues and sort of -- among some conservative white voters, among white men. they basically went about to try to not just recreate what they
put together in 2008, but figure out how to maximize their vote in places where there was growth. demographically in their direction, particularly hispanics. i keep coming back to two counties in particular. orange county, florida, osceola county, florida. i do this because, you know, i'm hearing whispers. first of all, chris, i just think that apology was an unbelievable apology. as heart-felt as i've heard anybody do, when they feel as if they've done something they need to apologize for. >> i just shouldn't have said it. i know why i thought i said it, i shouldn't have said it. >> i commend you for it. i want to bring sandy up for a reason because there's a lot of whispering among republican operatives in the romney campaign, oh, if it wasn't for sandy. that is not -- look at -- what happened in the state of florida, would have happened if
the election had been september 6th, october 6th or november 6th. this was structural. this was demographic. this had nothing to do with any issue. no auto bailout. no sandy. no any other effects. and so any other excuse that some republicans make is whistling past their grave yards. >> you accept it's more about demographics, more latino voters, up 10%, almost 11%, almost maxing out. a pretty good showing among white voters, about 39, about the levels of the last four or five cycles. >> well, i mean, he dropped a little bit. he had 43% of the -- >> before him. >> yeah, around where gore and kerry were. you know, they were -- the people you mentioned before, david plouffe, jim messina and jim axelrod -- particularly messina and plouffe, i wrote about this, they saw this as a contest between economics and demographics. the economics were going to be a headwind for president obama and the only way to win was focus like a laser beam on four groups. the rest of the campaign was just mood music for them.
they were looking at african-americans, hispanics, college educated white women and young voters in nine states. that was -- they had a year and a half before they had to engage with romney. a year and a half and a $1 billion to go out into those states and figure out not just in a broad way these were the groups they had to do well with but how do you move those people? >> how do you find out how to do it? >> some of the -- chuck said there was no issue -- there's a little exception. they were able to talk to a lot of people in those groups, find out what issues matter to them. the thing is the president did along the way. whether it was the dream act move in the spring, the gay marriage move. a lot of the things he was doing in term of policy and substance. the things they advertised on, focused on. how many college campuses he visited. -- every trip he took, every ad they put on the air, every web ad, every piece of mail they sent was focused on those four groups in specific counties in nine states.
they didn't care about 41 states of the country. they cared about those nine states and getting -- they knew for every turnout number what -- exactly the number of votes they needed from each of those groups to win those states. >> it's amazing. >> and they were -- this is something the romney campaign are smart guys. if you gave them a year and a half with no primary fight and a lot of money, they could have done the same thing, but they had to fight a primary, deal with newt gingrich, rick santorum, rick perry and fight for 15 months before they look up in may and say, okay, now we have to open field offices. the obama field offices were there for a year and a half. multiple ones in every one of these states and they were out there meeting these voters almost on an individual basis. these weren't just numbers. they were human beings -- >> you can't get elected on the young vote. i looked at the numbers, and these numbers of young voters were better than last time for obama. who would have predicted that. >> well, they went -- and they also -- they had time to change the makeup of the electorate.
in the state of florida, they went and registered new voters. they registered these folks. look at the state of ohio. all of the pollster conspiracy, polling conspiracy theorists would say no way democrats are going to have a party i.d. advantage of six, seven, eight points in the state of ohio. well, they had a seven-point advantage. that wasn't -- that didn't just happen. they went and got it done. they went and did voter registration in specific places because the other thing i found interesting, chris, is when you look at each of the nine battleground states and if you want to -- we have an easy way to do it, you look at the red and the blue, inside each the counties, nothing changed. you can't -- you can't look at the map and say, oh, look, they won this county. they didn't win that county that time. they went in and found new voters. >> everybody in america, how liberal, how diverse, you're
looking at the way people divide up ethnically. 72% of the electorate was white people. 13% were african-american. which has basically been constant since i was a kid, if i paid attention. 10%, short of that 11%, maxing out of latinos, including people from puerto rico, the dominican republic, and asian and south pacific. john, this is the new world. do the republican party with their slight support among hispanics because position against illegal immigration, really tough on it, the lack of having in inroads in the african-american community, are they stuck as fighting it out in effect the party can only win among whites? >> they're the party that right now they're a coalition and the coalition that made 2010 happen for them was -- is aging white men. that is just demographically speaking, a disastrous position to be in. this is ascend ant coalition. you saw the white vote fell between 2008 and 2012.
every one of those other groups, young voters, women, hispanics, asians, black vote was the same, but all the other ones went up a point or two. they're going to keep going up more dramatically as we head more toward a majority/minority country. the republican party must f it's not just a plausible governing party, but an existent party, not extinct party, it has to figure out how to get right with those groups. particularly hispanic. can you not be a nationally governing party getting 26%, 27% of the vote. you need to be up near 40%. that's where president bush was in 2004 and hispanics are more important now. >> everybody who votes wants something to happen. they want a perfect country. here's something from mitch mcconnell. he put out a statement. he's still minority leader. he left no doubt republicans will not be cooperating.
it reads in part, the voters have not endorsed the failures or excesses of the president's first term. they have simply given him more time to give him the job they asked him to do together with the congress that restored balance. he's basically saying we won, you won. this is going to be a fight. i didn't see a lot of hope in that for negotiation. >> not only that, he started on a very -- hey, don't offer us anything that can't pass the house of representatives. >> what's that mean? >> well, that means we're starting from square one, apparently. john boehner today, he wants to not have any grand bargain before the end of the year. wants to do this -- they're just buying time. it will be interesting -- i'll be curious to see how the white house now reacts. you've got boehner and mcconnell, boehner is playing good cop, seems more conciliatory. mcconnell less so. mcconnell has a political squeeze happening on him because
he's up for re-election in 2014. two things he's worried about. one is a primary challenge. two, ben chandler, great grandson of happy chandler, long time kentucky democratic name lost. suddenly doesn't have a house seat anymore. he might be looking for something to run for in 2014. >> how about ashley judd? >> well, i've heard the ashley judd rumor. i've also heard her running for governor of tennessee, which democrats are trying to get her to run for. i think ashley judd wants to run for office. that's a serious piece of speculation that's been circulating in kentucky. but -- so mcconnell has to play bad cop here. how is the white house going to respond, push back on this? clearly boehner and mcconnell are trying to say, okay, we're going to start in the most -- the most conservative position we can find, even on this day where essentially our side lost and see how the white house reacts.
>> a stunning morning, stunning morning the evening after, i have my own problems. chuck todd, you're the best, so are you john heilemann. the book game change. stay tuned for the republican civil war. moderate republicans say it's time to move back to the middle, where the party becomes a white, their phrase, rural outlier. time to nominate real conservatives, sit back and relax and enjoy the show. one of the consequences of the republican lurch to the right is in the last two election cycles they've lost five senate seats that could have been easy lay-ups, chip shots and they gained two. 55 members. what a surprise. as i said, i'm still stunned. and the great bill maher is here. we'll take a look at winners and losers, including the pollsters. ♪
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welcome back to "hardball." soul-searching time in the republican party. they seem to fall in two camps. one who say romney wasn't
conservative enough is one camp and the others who say he's not a right winger. or the realists in the party who know the gop must become a big tent party if it wants to see success down the road. mark mckennan and joan, an msnbc analyst. let's take a view from the far right. laura ingraham wrote on her website force in the gop and conservativism core principles demoralized middle class. charles krauthammer tried to move past mitt romney and look to the future of the gop. >> i think he did honorably well, came pretty close, but he was a man -- he's a northeastern liberal and that's not where we're going. i'm optimistic because there was a very strong republican bench
that did not enter the fray. all this soul-searching about what ideology we're going to pursue is going to come from them. i think it will be a fairly reaganite and conservative one. >> this is an old argue, the conservatives, even the far right, self-described tea party, had won the argument until last night. >> well, chris, you just can't look at these results and come to any other conclusion that the republican party have to expand the tent. and that this strategy of going after a shrinking demographic and trying to expand a shrinking demographic is a death spiral. and that's what we experienced yesterday. so, you know, i think back to when i was a conservative democrat, kind of moving toward a progressive republican. it was george w. bush's message of compassionate conservativism that drew me to support him. and he had very progressive ideas about immigration and education reform.
those were the things that attracted me and millions of other independents and conservative democrats. so, until we start recognizing that we've got to have those kind of messages and policies, and greater tolerance, greater diversity, then the numbers are going nowhere but down. >> on abc matthew dowd broke down the republican problems in tv terms. >> what's happening with the republicans, they are -- the republican party is a mad men party in a modern family america and it just doesn't fit anymore. >> okay, that was pretty well said, i think. mad men, meaning early 1960s, and now modern family is one of the most, if not, the most popular tv shows out there with gay people and straight people all living together and having a pretty good life. >> like you did straight from charlotte to tampa, we were in modern america and that's what the democratic party that the republican party doesn't have. laura ingraham is delusional.
you know, mark is right, whether mark's position wins the day, i'm not sure. really think there's going to be -- the pundits in this party, the nasty pundits like the limbaughs, are going to say you gave us another moderate and we need another conservative. >> this is what rahm emanuel said, they need a clinton moment. but rush limbaugh said sarcastically about the party becoming a big tent party. >> clarence thomas, herman cain, none of it counts. don't tell me the republican party doesn't have outreach. we do. but what are we supposed to do now? are we supposed to -- in order to get the hispanic or latino vote, does that mean open the borders and embrace the illegals?
is that -- i want you to think about that. if we're not getting the female vote, do we become pro choice? do we start passing out birth control pills? is that what we have to do? >> well, mark, nobody says it better than he did. how do you retort to that as a -- what i think is a more centrist republican, that you are? >> i find it prehistoric, chris. i think economic freedom and, you know, and giving people who make this country great, the immigrants green cards and finding ways to get them into our society, be productive tax-paying citizen rather than this notion of self-deportation and throwing up fences is the wrong way. i don't think that was the original idea of republicanism. and i think the philosophy of republicans should be -- i mean, it's supposed to be to keep government out of your lives so why do they come back to this
notion of intruding on women's lives? it's contemporary to the notion of what a republican should be. i find limbaugh's statements contrary to the bedrock. >> i know laura ingraham personally and her radio audience, they're the most indoctrinate. they're not really talking to those people. they're talking to the real rock-ribbed conservatives. >> they want to drive those people out of the party. they want to drive people like mark out of the party. they are winning at this point. you and i have been talking about this since 2008. rush limbaugh emerged as head of the republican party in 2008 by saying horrible things about the president. now listen to the way -- he's -- he thinks latinos and he thinks illegals. he thinks women and abortion and birth control pills. this is a vision that's going to drive people away from his party. >> i think there's a lot of republican conservativism out there. the democrats need republicans.
they don't want to be the ones putting teeth into immigration law. they don't want to deal with welfare reform. there are a lot of jobs republicans do better than democrats. if they have to cut the budgets, they need partners. the two parties have a lot in common. they can cut deals that are good for the country and work down the center left and center right until they find common ground. i think the first case is the fiscal cliff. they have to do this one. this time they have to work together. we'll see if it's a good case of proving the bigger stuff can work by doing the smaller stuff. thank you, mark and joan walsh. i think we're woozy staying up all night long. up next, what's become more colorful characters in u.s. house. we'll get caught up in allen west and michele bachmann and the rest of the usual suspects. this is "hardball," a place for politics.
back to "hardball." this is the side show the morning after. the common thread in this lineup of congressmen and women? joe walsh and allen west lost their bid and todd akin lost against claire mccaskill. west has yet to concede. nbc news projects his challenger patrick murphy will come out on top. here's a way they left their mark, including one from "hardball" itself. >> we need to let president obama, harry reid, nancy pelosi and my dear friend, the chairman of the democratic national committee, take your message of equality of achievement, take your message of economic dependency, take your message of enslaving the entrepreneurial will of the american people take it somewhere else, to the bottom
of the sea, to the north pole, but get the hell out of the united states of america. >> first of all from what i understand from doctors it's really rare. if it's a legitimate rape, a female body has a way to shut that thing down. >> don't blame banks and the america place for the mess we're in right now. this pisses me off. too many people don't listen. >> chris, do you support that? hey, chris. chris, chris, chris, chris, chris, i love it, chris. >> well, all the same, some side show regulars there who beat their challengers, steve king of iowa and michele bachmann back in the game after being defeated in 2010. florida democrat alan grayson offered this as the health care solution back in 20 09. >> if you get sick in america, this is what the republicans want you to do.
if you get sick, america, the republican health care plan is this, die quickly. that's right. the republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick. >> and now to the round-up from the presidential race and some winners and losers. aside from the candidates and winners. well, the winners, guys who analyze preelection polls got it right, including nate silver, like many of his colleagues was 5 5 1 for 51, got them all. women, there will be 20 in the senate now. the u.s. senate. the highest number ever. also, the lgbt community and gay rights advocates generally, two states, maine and maryland, voted in favor of gay marriage yesterday. the measure's still too close to call in washington state, according to nbc news. and president obama's twitter feed after this post victory tweet made history as the most retweeted photo in history. angry money, those who dropped hundreds of millions of dollars trying to sway the vote toward republican or two-time failed linda mcmahon, dropping almost
$100 million this week, overall out of her own pocket over the two attempts she made to be elected to the senate. well, the president wound up losing north carolina where the dnc was held. that was a good place to have a convention. romney lost florida after republicans held their convention in tampa. wow, wrong locations there. karl rove, who had a one-man side show of his own going on last night as he became increasingly clear it did that the president had won. >> do you believe that ohio has been settled? >> no, i don't. it may be that barack obama wins the state, but it seems to me that, you know, you got a lot of votes yet to cast. we have another county called delaware, a good suburban republican county north of columbus. they've had 50,000 votes cast. we've had one instance where something was prematurely called. >> they said this is not going to be another one of those. >> maybe not. let the votes begin to show it. >> seems to be a very early call.
>> i'm just saying in terms of public perception it looks odd for us to be making a call -- >> but you know how the science works. they know the counties and expected outcome -- the -- >> look -- >> the makeup of the remaining -- >> obama folks at headquarters in chicago, they're not listening to karl. >> he won the battle but lost the war. second terms are difficult for presidents. >> a rough night for mr. rove. when we come back, the one and only bill maher will be with us.
here's what's happening. the president and his family are welcome back to "hardball." maybe the only people more depressed than republicans today are comedians nail miss out on the comedic potential of a romney administration and also lost old friends last night, todd akin last night, joe walsh,
allen west. bill maher warned us about the risk last week. let's take a look. >> that's it. that's the election. it is your choice, america, because for me it's a win-win. if it's obama, america wins. if it's romney, comedy wins. >> well, last night america won, comedy lost, you might say. bill maher the host of "real time" an amazing television show. with bill maher on hbo. bill, karl rove has offered some material. is he the baghdad bob of the 2012 election, the last guy to admit something's new and something bad is happening? >> it was a little hitler's bunker, wasn't it? i wanted to rush in with a cyanide capsule there. i thought he was going to say, i don't want to live in a world without national socialism. okay, mrs. gerbels. it gets to a bigger point, chris, that republicans have to start getting their information from a better source than fox news.
i'm not kidding about this. i think this really screws them up. all year long we have had this segment on our program called dispatches from the bubble, we actually had a bubble made and put a republican in it. you know, with the rasmussen poll, they actually closed the last hole in the bubble. now they have their own polling. they believed it right up until the end. they were shocked by this election. they have to somehow fix the way they get information, because they only talk to each other. and they don't know what's going on in the real world. they were rudely awakened last night. >> what do you think it was like to be in that bubble with mitt romney in that time after it -- i call it the knockout, like the sixth round. all of a sudden midevening east coast time last night, it started to go in that direction, the democratic direction so powerfully. what do you think they were telling him when he's running around, this isn't supposed to happen, you guys were telling me i was winning this thing? >> i mean, i think they were still saying, yes, you have 12 divisions on the eastern front.
i mean, until they actually heard the artillery -- i should stop with the -- >> i think hitler never works myself. it never works. you know that. anyway, look, dick morris -- let me give you a break. dick morris predicted a romney landslide last week. he said the polls were totally wrong. let's listen to mr. morris. >> in florida "the times" says obama will win by one but their sample has seven points more democrats than republicans. that poll is off by a factor of eight. so, instead of obama winning by one, romney would win florida by seven. in virginia, they have obama winning by two. but they have eight points more democrats than republicans and historically there's one point more republican than democrat. that's off by a factor of nine. romney wins ohio by -- wins virginia by seven. >> okay. so you are standing by your prediction of a romney landslide? >> absolutely. romney will win this election by five to ten points in the
popular vote and will carry more than 300 electoral votes. >> well, that didn't happen. i wonder about the way people use jargon to establish their preeminence. he says, not by eight points but by a factor of eight and a factor of nine. is that supposed to give you some sense that this guy has a new -- has a different kind of, whatever, i don't know, slide rule he's using? what is this anyway, your thoughts on mr. morris? >> i mean, last night was a victory for pot, for gay marriage and for math. you know, these people have denied facts and math. one of the big arguments they put forward for not doing anything about health care was, why are we messing around with the greatest health care system in the world? i don't know. maybe because the u.n. ranks it 37? outside of the bubble there are facts. i know they're not in the bible but can't we use them sometimes? i mean, i think this is what it's going to have to come down
to. you know, when obama made that point in his victory speech last night about the little girl with leukemia, i thought, you know, yeah, i wish you had said that during the campaign. it really comes down to that. one party in this country says, we are going to work backwards from the premise that little girls don't die from leukemia if we can all prevent it. the other party says, no, we love unfettered capitalism. america has just decide, you know what, we are a modern country. i made fun of the democratic slogan, forward, one word, what is that? but at the end of the day, people who don't follow this very closely like we do just came down to, yeah, forward. yeah, you know what, i'm not crazy about him but let's keep moving forward. >> i don't think it was about him. i think it was the attitude toward their country and the time they live in. donald trump took to twitter, trashing the election returns. this is what he said on twitter, in real time, to use your phrase. he lost the popular vote by a
lot. he's talking about the president. and won the election. we should have a revolution this country. more donald trump tweeting. this election is a total sham and a travesty. we are not a democracy. and more, we can't let this happen. we should march on washington and stop this travesty. our nation is totally divided. well, later tonight mr. trump deleted all of his tweets. your thoughts. >> i mean, it doesn't deserve thoughts because these aren't thoughts. i mean, as soon as obama care really kicks in, they really need to get this man to a hospital. i mean, there is something going on here. i think it's that bovine thing. i don't know if -- mad cow, i don't know what you want to call it but the people in atlanta do amazing things with neurological workups. he needs one. this guy only two years ago was like apolitical, right? i don't even know what party he was. i don't know if he knew what party he was. now he wants to march on washington? this is -- so it's not democracy when your candidate loses?
>> yeah, that's the deal. >> this guy is just a clown. i mean, i can't believe nbc is going to stand by this guy. >> i hear he's still looking for the college records of the president because he thinks somewhere in the transcript will be information on him being a foreign student. he's still on this trail. anyway, let's take a look at some of the real -- well, let's say, colorful factors here of people. joe walsh and allen west are gone, as of last night. mourdock and akin won't get back in there. they're gone. here's what you tweeted, bill, last night about somebody else we know well, and i think we helped create her. i'm pulling for michele bachmann in minnesota. can't lose all the punch lines in one night. michele bachmann has staying power, we must admit. >> well, she won by 500 votes, but, yeah, it's very hard to unseat any incumbents. that's one of the problems we have in this country, is that people are always complaining about congress and they hate it and they give it a 9% approval rating and then they vote the same people back in every time. >> you spent a million dollars backing -- you spent a million dollars, which i never imagined
giving anything like it, you give $1 million to the obama effort, obama superpac and the other guys, koch brothers gave a couple hundred million, and addelson, he gave a bunch, but he makes it every hour in the casinos in macaw. you know what i liked, the tv advertisement had nothing to do with results. people don't pick their president from 30-second tv ads. i don't think. >> we don't know that. what i thought about giving the money early was defining mitt romney, letting people know who he was. especially in the swing states. another thing i tweeted last night, since we've made these ten swing states the decider in this election, since they're the simon cowells here who decide the singing contest, since obama basically ran the table in the swing states, shouldn't that be considered a mandate, chris?
i'm asking you, chris. >> yes. yes, it should. >> okay. >> let me ask you about -- it's like your audience got to vote, like your view of world was out there. maine and maryland, perhaps washington will turn out, washington state, will actually -- voted for pro gay -- for same-sex marriages. it won't be the courts. it will be the people going to the voting booths. the marijuana thing developing. i wonder what it says when you can only have enough for, what, one person if you're stopped by a policeman and four and five people are in the car, do they divide it up quickly? i don't take it lightly but these new laws will be frisky to enforce, i would think. your thoughts. >> well, i can certainly answer your questions about one person and how you divide it up. but that's for another day, chris. as far as the laws themselves, you know, i mean, fantastic. i went out and celebrated last night. this is really america moving forward. and what i find so ironic is
that the people who hate this, the tea party people who want to restore america and have the country go backward, they're always the liberty people. they're always talking about liberty and don't tread on me. this is liberty. liberty is deciding what i put in my body, how i want to get high, who i want to marry, who i want to be with. this is actual liberty. they just don't get it. >> you mean, freedom you can feel. >> actual freedom, yes. >> i've thought about that a lot. by the way, i'm glad you finally said it. bill maher, freedom. it was when you were a kid and you got to leave the house around 10:30 at night, you're going out, and you always figured one of your parents would put their hand on your shoulder and pull you back in, that was freedom. nobody's pulling me back in at night. that was my version of freedom. bill maher, thank you, i love being on your show. up next, we'll talk to some of the other big winners from the night, joe donnelly who defeated richard mourdock. this is "hardball," the place for politics.
mitt romney suffered the second worst home state defeat in the history of presidential elections. romney lost massachusetts by 23 points last night. according to the smart politics blog, the only major presidential candidate to do worse in his home state was john freeman, way back in 1856. he was the republican candidate. he won only about 19% of his home state of california in a three-way race won by james buchanan.
well, romney also lost the state he was in born in michigan, lost new hampshire, and california, where he owns homes. we'll be right back.
welcome back to "hardball." in a series of hard-fought races, democrats kept control of the u.s. senate last night, despite ample opportunities for republicans to pick up seats. and today, two more races have been called for democrats. nbc news can project that incumbent senator jon tester of montana has won re-election. and in north dakota, heidi heightkamp is the apparent winner in her race against rick berg. and that brings the democrats' edge to 53 seats to the republican's 45.
but there are really two other incumbents who will be, in effect, democrats in the next united states senate, giving them a 55-45 edge. u.s. congressman, now senator-elect, joe donnelly, won richard lugar's seat in indiana last night, defeating state treasurer, richard mourdock. he joins me now. well, mr. donnelly, congressman, i am so impressed, you gave up a safe seat in the house, you risked it all, you put it all on -- i guess you put it on blue, the democratic ticket. and you bet -- were you better off running against mourdock, who ended up being a bit loosy goosy, or better off going against dick lugar? >> chris, thank you very much. what i bet on were the people of indiana, that we're a common sense -- we have a common sense attitude, we're conservative, but we believe in the basics, getting things done. and we're not extreme. and what happened was this campaign came down to someone with very extreme positions and
what i tried to do was just focus on the middle. the same place where senator lugar has been for the longest time, is just trying to do common sense things. moving our country forward. and, you know, i thought that that made a lot of sense, that that's where hoosiers were, and we were very fortunate last night. >> you've been on the front lines, and there's nothing smarter than the candidate who just comes back from winning an election or losing one now. now, what do you know about the appeal of the other side? what is the main republican appeal to middle of the road voters? why would a person of sound mind vote republicans? i really want you to stick your neck out now that the election's over. when you meet the people you like and they say, i'm voting for the other guy, and you say, why, what is the best case they make? >> sure. you know, the kind of republican senator lugar has been for years is making sure that we keep our financial house in order, working hard for farmers and for agricultural community and for our rural towns, and so, that's
the appeal that so many in indiana have for the republican party. and a big portion of the republican party has moved away from that. and here in indiana, you know, as a democrat, we've tried to fill that void. and what we've tried to say is, look, we want to focus on common sense, on getting things done, and focus like a laser on jobs. i was one of the folks who led on the auto fight, along with sherrod brown and so many others and obviously president obama. and that made a big difference in this race too, chris, is across that whole middle section of our state, where we have a lot of auto plants and such, we did really, really well in that area. >> you know, it sounds -- that's the reason why ted kennedy got elected all those years in massachusetts, which is not as liberal a state as everybody says it is. home state, delivering for the home state, focusing on the state, and what it needs. we'll be right back with more from senator-elect, joe donnelly. you're watching "hardball," the place for politics.
welcome back to "hardball." we're back with senator-elect joe donnelly of indiana. senator-elect, congressman, when did you learn out there you didn't know when you started running? >> well, we again heard that the people who want to hear about partisan politicon